The Game: Once again, Pac-Man roams the maze, pursued by four colorful ghosts. But instead of dots, this maze is peppered with other goodies, ranging from the usual fruits (apples, bananas, etc.) to donuts, cake, and burgers. And in addition to the traditional four “power pellets” in each corner of the screen, there are two green “super power pellets” per screen, which give the mighty yellow one the power to fly over the monsters’ heads and to break down doors that confine some of the yummy treats in the maze. (Bally/Midway [under license from Namco], 1982)
Memories: The earliest of several very strange departures from the successful Pac-Man formula, Super Pac-Man was still a fun and, more often than not, fondly remembered game, even if it was ever so slightly baffling. Admittedly, even the mention above of Pac-Man flying is my own interpretation, based on the Pac-Man-going-on-Superman artwork on the arcade cabinet. It’s a bizarre little concept!
Another innovation in Super Pac-Man was a timed bonus screen, not unlike similar stages in Mappy and Galaga, in which the maze is cleared of any threats and your only object is to pig out on everything in sight before you run out of time.
Super Pac-Man was a hot ticket for console and computer adaptation, but it arrived at an inopportune time: by the time home versions were developed, the crash of the video game industry had sapped Atari’s enthusiasm for releasing a game that, unlike the original Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man, hadn’t been a blockbuster arcade hit.